The recent price hike in air fares might have dampened air travel a bit, but airports continue to see busy traffic. With OOH players concentrating more and more on airport advertising and with at least seven big airport projects underway across the country, this media vehicle can well play an important part in getting an upwardly mobile audience.
First, some facts: the Government is considering modernisation and developing the non-aeronautical side in at least 35 non-metropolitan cities. The Government has taken the joint venture route with the private sector for this, which is estimated to be around Rs 5,500 crore. The recommendations include building seven green-field airports in places like Navi Mumbai, Noida, Nagpur, Goa, Kannur and Ludhiana.
A multi-crore market for brands
exchange4media.com spoke to the out-of-home players to find out whether modernisation of the Indian airports could be the driving vehicle for airport advertising, and complement a media plan to reach the ‘fast moving’ consumers who might be difficult to reach through other media.
Madhuri Sapru, Managing Partner-South Asia, Kinetic & Dialect, observed, “Airports, and indeed all passenger terminal advertising worldwide, is increasing. Airport advertising can complement a media plan strongly as it can reach customers who may be difficult to reach through other media. Airports are increasingly seen as a key communication platform to reach out to the business travellers and high net worth individuals, in a targeted fashion. Kinetic Worldwide has seen over 300 per cent growth in our airport business in the last five years. Airport advertising offers flexible and innovative media opportunities with the recent new airport complexes. With the complexes yet to come up, it may also be possible to custom fit a site to the client’s need.”
Ajaz Memon, Director, Network Media Solutions, added here, “By being indoors, secured and high-tech, airports represent a unique environment for advertising. Airports allow many facilities – state-of-the-art advertising displays, quality of integration and customisation to create a specific airport differentiation, creation of advertising opportunities like 3D giant objects, temporary area brand domination zones, showrooms and so on. The quality of airport audience, both business and leisure travellers, is also up-class, with significant personal and company budgets to spend. There is significant dwell time to enable advertisers to deliver the message.”
Indrajit Sen, CEO, Stroeer Out-Of-Home Media India, is of the view that airport media represent diverse array of products, which pinpoint desirable customers. He said, “Airport advertising is taking off as companies realise its effectiveness in reaching captive audiences of frequent flyers, who are typically well-educated and earn high incomes. This audience tends to have better purchasing power and ultimate judgments on purchases, which lead to further opportunities in airport advertising.”
The products and services usually advertised in airports are different. Luxury goods such as branded shoes, clothes and jewelleries are marketed directly to frequent flyers. As Sriram Iyer, CEO Street Culture, pointed out, “Premium retail chains also pursue this audience. Banks offering premium services find airport advertising to provide the right ambience for advertising their products and services. Therefore, flyers mostly find advertisements of high-end products at airports.”
Abhishek Kandoi, Director, EncyloMedia Networks, said, “The emerging markets should be more aware of the revenue opportunities provided by airport advertising. Airport advertising in many emerging markets lags in some way. This is surprising since the significant inward investment and growth rates of the emerging markets should prove fertile ground for a strong performance in airport advertising.”
Soumitra Bhattacharyya, CEO, Laqshya Outdoor Media, noted, “Airport advertising has substantial impact on airport revenue. Research on the matter is supporting the effectiveness of airport advertising and giving confidence to the market. Online access enables advertisers to browse the media and the environment, deliver campaigns faster, improving access to and understanding of the market. Better booking systems enable faster sales, managing high-revenue short-term campaigns and reducing gaps between advertiser contracts.”
Advertisers would seek to increase the number of ‘impacts’ within the travel time frame, and would seek to enhance campaign recall. The near future is about focussed marketing, and with the kind of developments that airports are seeing, this OOH media vehicle seems to be set for a highflying future.